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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Philadelphia Marathon 2012

If there was any race that I feel like I did everything right for, it was the Philadelphia Marathon 2012. It all started with my train ride up to Philly from New Carrollton ... it was my first time taking the train from New Carrollton (normally I would metro from College Park to Union Station and pick up Amtrak there). Well let me back up a little bit .... my 21st birthday. The Philadelphia Marathon was on November 18th....my 21st birthday was on November 13th. When I first signed up for the race, I told myself that I was going to wait to go out for my 21st until Thanksgiving. Why? I have no idea. After talking with my friends, they guilted me into going out for my 21st and boy oh boy - that was the best idea all of training! Thanks to Looney's Pub of College Park, MD for a great night. 
The days leading up to the marathon I honestly wasn't too stressed out like I had been for my first full marathon. Training had gone really well and I had one 20-miler in the tank, and countless 13-16 mile runs. I felt ready to go! The day I was heading up to Philly (Saturday) was also the last Senior Football game at UMD and there was a huge senior tailgate before the game with free drinks from the school...so what did I do? Had my fill of bottomless mimosas :) . I ran into some old friends, got a picture with Testudo, and went back to my apartment and did some last minute packing for the marathon! My friend was supposed to pick me up and give me a ride to the train station....but he was over 20 minutes late, and I almost missed my train! By the time I got to Philly, I was ready for bed. I went to the Expo, got my packet, and then went to the California Pizza Kitchen and had some  yummy food & wine...then off to bed! 

I believe the race started at 7 - I was up at 5:30 and out the door by 6...at the start of the race by 6:30. Met some guy named Ben when we were in line for the bathroom and wound up running the race with him. I kept a 9:35ish pace the whole race! I didn't even run with music for the first half ( I had Ben to talk to), and I'm pretty sure I didn't munch on any Clif Shotbloks until after the 13.1 mark! Something that I found kind of odd was that the half marathoners & marathoners started at the same time...but then the half marathoners peaced out at mile 12.9 for the finish. I honestly wasn't the biggest fan of that because then you have to run the next 13.3 by yourself and that's kind of depressing to think about when you're only halfway done...

Mile 18; when I realized I was going to
break my life goal!
I was cruising. I hit mile 18, looked at the clock, looked at my split time sheet I had taped around my wrist, and then looked at the clock again -- I was ~20 minutes ahead of schedule...I was going to break my lifetime goal of 4:30!!!!!! We ran through Manayunk and a guy asked me if I wanted a beer and I said YES! From that point on, I just ran like the wind; never hit the wall and I felt amazing. Mile 23 was about the time my hip started to hurt and I was ready to be done running - I felt like I had been running forever.  I gave the last few miles all I had left and had a great finish - even high-fived the Mayor of Philly! Great post race party and tons of food. I even remember joking around with the one guy that was giving out Gatorade that I wouldn't accept any from him because he had Steelers gear on. I got my medal, found my friend, and off we went back to her house where I took a nice long shower and we went and had bottomless mimosas for lunch. I took a train back that night and it was kind of funny because everyone that had run the marathon was hobbling their way on the platform. It was kind of hard to get up the next morning - my whole body ached, but I was able to muster up enough energy to go for a ~2 mile run to loosen things up (at like a 13 minute mile pace). Would highly recommend this race!

Overall rating? A
Main complaints? No Under Armour tech tees (those are still my favorite :)) and I don't think there were Philly pretzels at the finish as promised (maybe there actually were and I'm forgetting 7 months after the run haha)
Favorite parts? My favorite two parts of the marathon were probably mile 13 and mile 26. Why? Because of the large crowds cheering for you! I also loved how they played music from Rocky at the start and the finish. It's fun to run through a big city with tons of people cheering for you!
Communication before the race? A
Expo? A. Tons of vendors!
Premium? B+. The color is kind of boring (gray), but I liked how it was gender specific and wasn't too busy (had the marathon logo on the front and the map of the marathon on the back)
Water Stops/Aid Stations? A . Definitely frequent enough and well stocked!
Finisher's Medal? A - pretty awesome! Nice ribbon, heavy medal!
Finisher's Festival? B+. Loved how it was right at the finish line, was kind of bummed there was no beer!
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? YES!

Placed 6451 out of 11427. Bib # 11628
Age: 21
Official Finishing time: 4:17:31

Overall rating? A
Main complaints? None
Favorite parts? The entire race!
Communication before the race? C - I wasn't sure about packet pickup and I would check the website multiple times for answers...but they were never there. I eventually broke down and emailed the race director and had my question answered
Expo? A. Huge and had tons of vendors!
Premium? A. EnduraFit gender-specific long sleeve shirt with the course map on the back. The color was gray...
Water Stops/Aid Stations? A . Definitely frequent enough and well stocked! 
Finisher's Medal? A+. 
Finisher's Festival? B+. They didn't have beer :(
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? YES!


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